Monday, November 30, 2009

First Snowfall

From the studio of Al-P, now 1/2 of the duo of MSTRKRFT, comes Girls Are Short: the Technicolour sample-happy sonics of the Avalanches paired with the sugary vocal cuteness of Rocketship. As MSTRKRFT more and more attempt to scale the heights of Tiesto-dom, this project has been , which is too bad - the Contact Kiss album is a rich & fun romp, full of good humour and (hell yes) a Steely Dan sample.

Sprawled out on the couch last night, I got the chance to watch the 90s fashion throwback film, Unzipped, director's Douglas Keeve's tale-of-a-collection documentary about then boyfriend Izaac Mizrahi's collection. There's a great scene where Mizrahi goes up to meet Eartha Kitt (ostensibly to design gowns for her) and she relates a story about a live performance with Orson Welles, who leaning down to kiss her, ended up biting her and drawing blood.

Mostly the film is interesting for listening to Mizrahi ramble on about his pop culture obsessions, and also for how strange the then still young supermodels were (and are). Linda Evangalista, by the way, is either a gigantic bitch or just too self-conscious to own the hammy strivings buried deep within her soul. Naomi Campbell seems kinda fun, actually, and Cindy Crawford is not as white-bread as I would have imagined, and artfully aware of the camera.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Glumly Strummed Guitar Sounds & Ubiquitous Ukulele

Where do the cross-currents of the breezy Pacific and the cryptic coldness of the north Atlantic meet? Here, above the 49th parallel, in a city on the St. Lawrence named Montreal and, if you want to be very specific, with a group called Postcards.

Key reference points appear to be Felt, C86 cassettes, Young Marble Giants, and with Dark Clouds, maybe the Current 93/Death in June/Sol Invictus axis of post-industrial neo-folk. For all of you concerned about the steady undercurrent of Fascism in all glumly strummed music, I suggest that you can put your mind to rest with regards to Postcards - preliminary investigation on the group reveals much less ambiguous treatment of Fascist themes and imagery than the aforementioned reference points.

As befits the post-punk aesthetic, the group has a cassette available on Fixture Records. The stand-out track is Nowhere, which you can preview on their Myspace page.

If you're in Montreal, the group will be performing at L'Escogriffe for Toronto psych-poppers The Hoa Hoas' album release party along with Omon Ra on Saturday, December 12th. And coincidentally, they have a song called Postcards.

Trending! The Sounds of The Yogurt Commercial Ukulele!

It might just be a latent hatred of, but the too precious digital-age calypso mess of the embarrassingly intercapped tUnE-YaRdS (fuck, it annoys me to look at it, nevermind type it - I can practically smell the stale confines of a zine library at a liberal arts college) is really, really not doing it for me. Have any of you been subject to the broadcast television recently? If you have, you'd realize that every single yogurt commercial is scored by music like this. In many ways, I should really trust my judgement more - just as with Girl Talk, which I inadvertently listened to a couple of weeks ago after avoiding for many years and ended up absolutely loathing... After immersing myself in pop/indie music or what not for many, many years, it becomes relatively easy to know at a glance whether I'll like a band or not based on the aesthetic cues they leave scattered around, and so with tUnE-YaRdS.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Today Forever

from Igmar Bergman's Persona

Ghastly City Sleep Suchness

Music from Montreal's Postcards tomorrow...

Mood Music

from the soundtrack to Le Professionnel
Sebastien Tellier Gus Gracie
from the soundtrack to Narco
Duran Duran The Chauffeur
Watch the video, directed by Ian Emes, inspired by The Night Porter & Helmut Newton
Chairlift Planet Health

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's Almost as Good as The Wire & Also From Baltimore? Beach House!

Okay, so for some reason everyone's posting Norway from Beach House's as of yet to be released Teen Dream album. Either the reason is that that's what Sub Pop is dictating to be the next single or just because 10/10 bloggers prefer that specific more uptempo track to any of the other 9 songs on the album. Of course, all bloggers are either milquetoasts or windbag contrarians (this one included!) and often they're wrong - as they are now. Walk In the Park is a better song... And it's the 21st century, what does a single for an indie band mean except that that's the song the label wants played on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic so Alex Patsavas can license it for whatever movie/tv show she's working on?

Metal Morning

Photograph by Alison Scarpulla

Monday, November 23, 2009

Get Up.

Veruschka von Lehndorff, by Richard Avedon

there is no snow in Hollywood/
there is no rain in California/
I have been to lots of parties/
and acted perfectly disgraceful/
but I never actually collapsed/
oh Lana Turner we love you get up.
-Frank O'Hara

I'll post some a new song off of the soon-to-be-released Beach House album tomorrow. And not Norway - a better song!

An Alligator With A Bow-Tie

I love alligators in bow-ties.

More lo-fi underwater nowness sounds from down south, the best of which incorporates anthemic 80's chained to a slacker aesthetic, the worst of which sounds like somebody gargling a Spacemen 3 song on an answering machine. Or, harkening back to waaaaaaaay yesteryear, let us recall the lo-fi indie calypso-pop sensible senselessness of Victoria, BC's Panty Boy, the project of one Galen Hartley (now putting time in with the musically more mature Elephant Island), a group who seem to have the same dinky Casio keyboard doing the scratching as Small Black. Small Black is from Brooklyn, and Washed Out, as you no doubt recall, we have already spoken of/fawned over.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bernie Is De Juju! or Pseudo-Racist Pina Cola of FANTASY

Sometimes in the winter, when I'm in a cab, the heat turned up too high, my feet cold and the zouk carrying on through the stereo with its non-stop bass & vibe loop with occasional midi instrument vamp overtop, I close my eyes and re-live, through the power of memory & my own will, the magic of Weekend at Bernies II, which I first experienced during its theatrical release at the Rio Theatre in Vanderhoof, British Columbia during my youth.

I close my eyes, I inhale the sweet cinammon fragrance of my Haitian cab driver, and there I am, in the Virgin Islands. I'm Larry Wilson, the Andrew McCarthy character, because I'm not Jewish like Jonathan Silverman, and I'm not dead so I can't be Bernie, either, though he tends to get more action than either of them throughout the two films) for I have identified with him and the brighter points of his ouevre since my youth.

Yes, combine peaceful islands sounds with a zombified Bernie, throw in hackneyed plot tricks, muddle a mismatch of cultural attributes from all around the region, mix with a blender, and POP! I've got a pseudo-racist Pina Colada of FANTASY to help me endure the cab ride.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

9 Out Of 10 Movie Stars Make Me Cry

Caetano Veloso Nine Out of Ten
Brian Jonestown Massacre Feel So Good

X: I had several Boggles this weekend, and they ended up being more than
just Trivial Pursuits.
Y: My sexual experiences usually begin with and end with Sorry.

Bad Lieutenants & Air Travel

Bad Lieutenants Keitel, Sumner & Herzog

At a certain point in time, Bernard Sumner turned the corner as a songwriter and started writing the sort of uplifting songs that sound like they'd sync perfectly with time-lapsed images of planes landing, people streaming through night markets, and bold new companies offering us exciting advancements in consumer technology. Maybe it started with Electronic, his collaboration with Johnny Marr - I can't really pinpoint it. Certainly the non plus ultra of the Sumnerian ouevre in this regard is New Order's Jetstream, with breathy stewardess spoken bits and swooshing jet engine sounds. Or could there be nothing beyond? Now we have a new offering - Sink or Swim from his new group Bad Lieutenant's debut Never Cry Another Tear. (That jangly guitar lead sounds a bit like the Brian Jonestown Massacre, no? - Okay, fine, The Byrds).

Bad Lieutenant, is Sumner's most recent post-New Order group (they broke up in 2008). The group also features Stephen Morris & Phil Cunningham (both of New Order) and Alex James (of Blur & BBC shockumentary The Cocaine Dairies). No Peter Hook, but still, hooks. Because Mr. Sumner is English, is the band pronounced "Bad Left-enant?"

Bernard Sumner and Werner Herzog are both riding a real zeitgeist wave here, that is, people caring about the (err) classic(?) film Bad Lieutenant, a consequence of life after Grand Theft Auto, or maybe both of them finding a VHS copy in a Goodwill.

And on that note, thanks to some generous folks at the Playlist blog & the Montreal Mirror, I'll be attending the sneak preview of Mr. Herzog's film Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans tomorrow. I'll report back with details on the status of Nicolas Cage's mental health (hopefully better than his financial) and whether the iguanas are all they've been made out to be.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Racist Rockabilly At The Irish Pub.

Japanese Appropriators of Poor White Man's Culture

The racist rockabilly at the Irish pub does not want to be your friend. He already has a pudgy girlfriend with poor skin, a Betty Page haircut, and a nose piercing that makes her like a bull. He has a brother. His brother is a bus-driver. That's a job. A thankless fucking job. His best-friend is a tattooist, drums in his band... He has a dog. A pitbull. If he wants to meet people, he goes to a convention. So, please, don't talk to him about Guitar Wolf. Take your Heineken and sit at the other side of the bar.

Dour Girls + Who Are the Secret Keepers?

The Girl In Your Memory
Luka Yuanyuan Yang

It is 1986. It always rains in Vancouver. Most girls in between the ages of 18 and 34 have stringy hair that they rarely comb, wear long tattered flower print dresses with a leather jacket over-top and boots. They love to smoke cigarettes. Their British Isles racial background immunizes them from strains of continental existentialism (but not existential anguish), and instead they favour the ethereal, brooding romanticism of their heritage. If set to music, it must feature a guitar run through a chorus pedal, with undulating vocals. Their younger sisters, attuned to the feeling of their older sisters' auras but not the nuances of their tastes, will briefly listen to Sisters of Mercy and Clan of Xynox before turning their back on that and spending most of the early to mid 90s in darkened warehouses on a variety of bath-tub chemicals listening to Eon's Spice & Orbital's Halycon + On + On. The sisters, for their part, will tear up when exposed to the video for Shakespear's Sister's Stay. Expo '86 sucks, man.

The Secret(s) ______ Don't/Doesn't Want You To Know.
Yes, but who? What common cause units both vegans and real Alpha males, doctors and bastards? Who are the secret keepers that deprive humanity of sunshine, children of joy, and puppies of sticks? It might shock you to know that your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend has more in common with the left-handed guitarists than simple self-esteem issues. There is a vast conspiracy, at once banal and esoteric, that is currently underfoot to keep secrets from you, the average citizen. I've read about it. While I don't know what the secret is, necessarily, a cursory scroll through Google has led me to a fairly detailed profile of exactly WHO the secret-keepers are. Inform yourself, people.

The people who are keeping secrets are: Hotels, The Gurus, Fund Managers, Calling Card Companies, Doctors, Diamond Jewelers, Printer Manufacturers, Cosmetic Companies, Myspace, Facebook, The Bastards, Beverage Companies, Vegans, Hiring Managers, Secret Societies*, Credit Card Companies, NPR, Real Alpha Males, Girls, The Moguls, Money-Doublers, Most Realtors, Tobacco Companies, The Restaurant Industry, Gamers, Food Producers, The Powers That Be, Salt Water Pool Sellers, Makeup Professionals, High Schoolers, Liberals, Lottery Companies, Left-Handed Guitarists, The Rich, Coffe Companies, Viet Celebrities**, Cat Food Manufacturers, Infant Formula Companies, DUI Police, Players, Trucking Companies, Veterans, Your Ex, The Illuminati, Acne Companies, Interior Designers, Porn Stars, Most Witches and Magical Practitioners (but not all), Others, Health Clubs, Auction Houses, they (also They, THEY, "they," "They" and sometimes THYE), Women, Locksmiths, Your Cats, Yahoo, JB Hunt Transport, a mouse, the White House, Obama, the Soup Nazi, Apple & Steve Jobs, your agent, your plastic surgeon, General Mills, the hot water lobby, your female orgasm hating doctor, the Devil, The Big Dogs, Simon Cowell, Molly, Cyborg Hitler, Planned Parenthood, and lastly, the Hallowe'en Lobby.

* One imagines by their very nature, secret societies have something at stake in keeping secrets secret.
** A freebie - most Vietnamese celebrities: don't write their own webpages, are gay or bi-sexual, make most of their money from touring, and have significant others.

I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night

Embroidered Stendhal bag by (the delightful) Olympia Le-Tan
These bags are available in Toronto at HBC, but not in Montreal yet(!)

I had a really weird dream the other night that involved me working as a teacher's assistant for Isaiah Berlin at a mid-80's office building in downtown Montreal. Before leaving for the day, Berlin asked me to bring him four towels the next day, and then described in EXTREME detail the sexual activities he would perform on these towels with ladies, including the word of caution that if one spread a woman's arms out in his prescribed manner one had to watch out for asbestos dust that might be forced from the lungs & through the skin. He specified that the towels had to be a nice blue (similar to the sweater I was wearing), because (as his friend explained), the specific hair of shiksas looked the best against that background. Berlin was very opposed to brown towels. I can't recall if his friend was Martin Buber or Robert Wyatt. Probably Buber as the University administrative staff were all Jewish, and also Wyatt is wheelchair-bound. POSITIVE LIBERTY, INDEED.

There was also a subplot involving a high-end restaurant in a basement suite full of bejeweled dowagers and Concordia art students having an intense discussion about artistic processes.

* Not as well known as Stanley Donen's other spy caper film Charade, but also worthy of your attention. Handsome leading man & lovely lady duties in this film are filled by Gregory Peck & Sophia Loren instead of Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Vinter - skygge af et træ
Sean Nicholas Savage Here She Comes!!!
Fleetwood Mac I Know I'm Not Wrong

I don't know if there's an Oblique Strategy card that says "take the verse of a popular song ten or more years old and repeat it," but either way, Eno gives us a bit of that flavour from his Before & After Science record. A little closer to home, Sean Nicholas Savage of the Silly Kissers shares some structural similarities with one of my favourite Lindsey Buckingham songs, from his swell Summer 5000 record.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Space Dust Remixes

The Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)
Photographs by Helmut Newton, costumes by Theoni Aldredge
(who also did The Great Gatsby, and Network),
and a sweet psychic murder plot - what's not to love?

The Organ

I previously compared the Silly Kissers to Swedish duo Lo-Fi FNK, but in the absence of sequencing (and considering the Montreal group seems to be more prolific), I'll amend that to compare them to one of my favourite groups out of Vancouver in recent memory which is, sadly, no longer with us, The Organ. The initial lineup included financial journalist Sarah Efron, who now writes for The National Post. This song was on the L Word, it's from Grab That Gun, and supposedly Jenny and Katie now live in Toronto and run a resto-bar.

On the Silly Kissers front, sandwiched in between some serious mid-90s aesthetic mis-steps (that being the dominant mode of Quebecois culture, I have to say), here's a recent live performance from the group at Musique Plus.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Organized Crime

I caught frequent New York Review of Books contributor Misha Glenny on CBC's The Hour last night. Here's a July speech about organized crime markets, his new obsession after the Balkans, and as, you'll see, a result of his involvement with the Balkans.

On a similar topic, Jake Adelstein recently published his book Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, about his 12 years spent in Tokyo as a crime reporter for the newspaper Yomiuri Shinbun. Thus far, no word on whether the story's been optioned for a film, but I assume there's been a torrent of interest. Here's a recent interview with him from NPR's Fresh Air.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Balkans

Stari Most in Bosnia

I went through a fairly intense period a couple of years back when I became gripped with the Balkan Wars in the 1990s and the break-up of Yugoslavia. I read everything I could get my hands on, much of it astonishing stuff that I'd still pick up today, even after the fascination with that morbid and intense period of human history has waned... Say what you will about Michael Ignatieff as the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada (and truthfully, despite my initial hopes, I don't pay much attention - it's too painful to watch the man pander to the Tim Horton's/hockey constituency), but his book The Warrior's Honour presented an interesting approach to the Balkans war, particularly in the application of Freud's narcissism of minor differences to explain the vicious feelings between former neighbours, friends and family members resonated particularly with me. Through my research I was also introduced to David Rieff, Tim Judah, and a great novel called The Speaking Cure by Montrealer David Homel (here's an ABC Australia interview with him), about the psychological disconnection between Serbian citizens and the battlefield during the war. Some other recommendations on the topic, are the 6 part BBC series The Death of Yugoslavia, which is still making its rounds on torrent sites across the internet, Danis Tanovic's 2001 film No Man's Land, and CBC Radio As It Happens hostess Carol Off's The Lion, The Fox and The Eagle, a portion of which is about the shameless chumminess exhibited by Canadian General Lewis Mackenzie as head of the UN Peacekeeping force in Bosnia in 1992.

The alarming thing, I suppose, was just how poorly people on the Left, in their knee-jerk response got it so miserably and terribly wrong, ending up on the side of Milosevic and Karadzic, acting as apologists while genocide was committed against on European soil against a Muslim population. (Open-shirted French philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy apparently tackles the post-Marxist Left's fascination with national sovereignty in his most recent book Left in Dark Times, which I'm eager to read.)

Anyways, on a less tragic note, above you'll find some Balkan songs, and here's an animal rights story about a Macedonian bear being persecuted for being a bear.

Sophie Fillières Un Chat, Un Chat

Chiara Mastroianni (left) in Un Chat Un Chat

I went out yesterday to catch Sophie Fillieres' Un Chat Un Chat as part of the Cinemania Festival, at the always comfortable and enjoyable Cinema Imperial. Even though it's not really a functioning cinema (per se), there are enough film festivals in this town that any film buff is guaranteed to attend at least one screening per month throughout the year. Last night - a somewhat meandering and unfocused film, not without its own charm, that followed the writer's block of a novelist in Paris. Appropriately enough, it featured Chiara Mastroianni, whose own father Marcello Mastroianni starred in arguably the most important about writer's block and the creative process, Fellini's 8 1/2.

The main thing that attracted me to the film, actually, was Chiara (who you might have heard in Persepolis): particularly the fact that she's the daughter of both Marcello and also Catherine Deneuve, which was not lost on me through the more ponderous moments of the film, when I could pass the time by trying to attribute facial features and tics. In the end, I have to say that her darting, big eyes overwhelmed the more Deneuvian aspects of her face, and she's far more her father's daughter than her mother's.

The film itself follows Chiara's character Nathalie / Célimène, a novelist, through a creative cul-de-sac marked by her somnambulism, apartment renovations, her relationship with her son Adam (played by Mateo Julio Cedron) and her decaying relationship with Malik Zidi's Antoine character, as well as, on top of all of this, her pursuit by Anaïs (played by Agathe Bonitzer, the director's daughter), a well-meaning but pushily persistent and dedicated fan who endeavours to get Nathalie/Célimène to write about her and her life. It's mannered and interesting, if a tad bit slow, but over-all a pleasant and reflective film. Check out the French-language trailer.

Pardon My Hindi & Pop Montreal present 2nd Bollywood Party

Asha Bhosle & R.D. Burman Piya Tu Ab To Aaja
(from Caravan O.S.T.)
Kazi Aniruddha Piya Tu Ab To Aaja
(from Bollywood Steel Guitar)
~ My favourite Bollywood song of all time ~

I'm excited to announce that I'll be playing the second Bollywood party (hot on the heels of July's fun-as-hell party), presented by the capable and loving folks of Pardon My Hindi, Elephant Stone and Pop Montreal. Along with a performance by aforementioned band (and Polaris Prize nominees), Freelove Fenner and Magic Hall of Mirrors will also be playing. I'll be DJing Bollywood classics from the glory days of Amitabh Bachchan, Rahul Dev Burman and Ms. Asha Bhosle (of course), along with DJ Desipower.

More information on the Facebook page, or just show up this Friday, November 13th at Casa del Popolo for an evening of Desi dance and subcontinental swagger. Come by and say hello!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Dancefloor Workouts & Disco Drops

Montreal's current nightlife might not be as disco-centric as it once was, way back in the glory days when jewelry was both functional and fashionable, a hockey player could record a best-selling disco record, and the nights were long. But it is probably the best time in recent memory to go out and catch some stellar, hard-working DJs play disco, house, early 80's R&B and all the rest. The latest addition to the glittering disco-friendly landscape is the Paradise Garage night, named after the infamous New York disco and built by an impressive cast of Montreal DJs and promoters, including Seb Diamond & Phil AD, F.U.N.K. (from Love! Disco Style, Saturdays at Vinyl), Classi Assi, Rilly Guilty, New Money, Snap magazine and Peer Pressure's A-Rock.

Paradise Garage is every Friday, at Decibel (formerly Coda). 4119 St. Laurent.

More info here...

Thursday Social Agenda

I'm pleased as punch to be DJing tonight at Blizzarts (3956 St. Laurent) along with Renaissance men David Shaw and Davey Lahteenma from the growing disco concern that is Loose Joints/Attitude City as part of their Neighbourhood weekly. The musical selection will be better tailored to the dancefloor than some of the stuff I've been posting, don't worry... More details at the Facebook event page.

Seemingly Thursday is the time that Montreal's bloggers are allowed to socialize, albeit only at Blizzarts. Starting at 9pm, The Bitter End will be screening their fourth episode. The Bitter End is the web-based comedy series (it's better than that sounds) featuring (amongst many others) the talents of Said the Gramophone's Daneil Beirne.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Soundalikes Or Kindalikes...

Poor choice of slacks, Pops, and that collar's far too wide.
Nice cricket sweater, though!

Dad-approved parent rock for mid-morning melancholics seeking salvation in the form of secular spirituals.

Dollar Store Hallucinations: Julian Casablancas' Phrazes for the Young

"Why don't I move to LA? Take my plants, record an album, start a new life?
Orso's closing, but that's okay."

It's a bit uneven as an album, but there are enough solid moments that I'd probably shell out the $9.99 (or whatever it is that a CD costs) for Julian Casablancas' Phrazes for the Young. With production duties handled by Jason Ladder (who once twiddled knobs for bad-haircut Jeep rockers Maroon 5 and Jenny Lewis) as well as Mike Mogis (one of those Saddle Creek types - blame him for the countrified moments, I guess), Mr. Casablancas' premiere outing as a solo artist is a trippy, slightly claustrophobic ride through roller-rink synthesizers, ELO circa Time chord progressions, and half-baked ideas that is over-all, pretty damn charming.

Your Easy-Pocket Reference Points...
The dominant mode here is theatrical studio fuckery. It's not overwrought genre-fuckery like The Bees who sometimes get it right (Chicken Payback) and sometimes get it terribly wrong (Travelin' Man), and it's not as polished as Jason Schwartzman's Coconut Records, which sometimes errs so poorly and frequently you do think, "Oh yeah, Los Angeles, Maroon 5, guys with too much money who really like Phoenix." I have to admit that even I loathe them, the closest reference I can make is to Of Montreal, as busy, as many textures and ideas, albeit thankfully more tasteful. Let's hope the much-hyped Casablancas stage show is more than him dancing around with tin-foil flute playing woodland creatures and other dollar-store hallucinations.

At its worst, the confusion becomes a bit much in mid-album song River of Brakelights, which has no discernible hooks, just a series of proggy keyboard lines and a chorus that sounds like the desperate chants of a robot assembly-line moments before exploding due to over-work. At it's best, you have the two songs above... Album-opener Out of the Blue is pretty damn fun, gradually developing into a supremely hooky song over a 4/4 drum-machine demo rhythm. 11th Dimension is the single - great guitar hooks, that aforementioned roller-rink syntehsizer line, and the busy hyper-produced guitar-sound that popped up on the Strokes' 12:51.

Now a short-time LA resident and loving the weather (as his bandmate's father once sang, "It Never Rains in Southern California"), Mr. Casablancas is performing 3 times in Los Angeles and once in San Francisco before embarking on a short tour. No Montreal or (more surprisingly) New York dates announced yet, but he will be in Vancouver at The Commodore Ballroom on November 23rd.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Euro-Schmaltz, Germans, Brits, & Yanks

More Bergen!

From an album where Mr. Spector did brandish a handgun (and maybe a crossbow), Leonard Cohen's Death of a Ladies' Man, comes Iodine. Not the most beloved of his albums by the undergraduate poets in your life*, but I'm a big fan of its boozy, jazzy and occasionally shambolic, shabby glory. Also in 1977, Tony Visconti, David Bowie & Iggy Pop got together to record Pop's The Idiot. That album includes the drum machine dirge and Weimar-era ennui homage Nightclubbing (check out that schaffel rhythm**). Hilly Michaels, one-time drummer for Sparks, recorded a cover of John Lennon's Instant Karma for his 1980 album Calling All Girls. A pretty faithful adaption. The rest of the album fluctuates between baroque Queen-esque numbers (befitting a Sparks collaborator, I guess) and over-reaching power pop: mostly a pass. From there, not such a leap to Gary Glitter and then, finally, Goldfrapp.

* Another dark horse pick that Dan Bejar of Destroyer would favour - the Euro-schmaltz of 1988's I'm Your Man.
** Alas, an blip on the mid 2000s dance music scene that never got big, huh? But at least it gave us Goldfrapp's Train, without which shampoo and automobile advertising would never be the same.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Spector Without Gun.

Candice Bergen, not Dion. But much easier on the eyes.

From the 1975 album of the same name, comes a morose little number Phil Spector produced for Dion (of Dion & The Belmonts) in his mid-period. Reportedly a big influence on Spiritualized's Jason Pierce (no doubt). As far as I know, no handguns were brandished and/or discharged during the recording of this album.

Camera Obscura - Destitution